Pool Lost Water

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  #1  
Old 03-23-10, 11:32 AM
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Pool Lost Water

Hi all,

I recently moved into a home that has an in-ground pool. I had it professionally winterized. A couple of months ago, I noticed that the cover was sunken in, meaning that the water level had dropped. Sure enough, when I pulled the cover back the water was down about a foot or so.

I noticed that the water had leaked down to the top of one of the returns, and that the collar for that return was broken.



I don't think it's a broken line, I think maybe it's just this collar? Do they actually seal? If so, it should be an easy fix. Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Jim
 
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  #2  
Old 03-23-10, 03:57 PM
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What you have use to be a liner pool that someone has coated it with something(probably fiberglass). This ring is used with the liners to seal around the return but it should not be sealing anything now, just there for looks. There could be a crack somewhere as this coating does not hold up very well.
 
  #3  
Old 03-23-10, 04:39 PM
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I would investigate your notion anyway.
Replace the ring like youre' thinking... Too coincidental that after so long, the water level is at that particular point! The ring pushes the edges of the access hole in the liner against that inner insert that has the winter plug installed. When did that ring get broken?
 
  #4  
Old 03-24-10, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mickblock View Post
I would investigate your notion anyway.
Replace the ring like youre' thinking... Too coincidental that after so long, the water level is at that particular point! The ring pushes the edges of the access hole in the liner against that inner insert that has the winter plug installed. When did that ring get broken?
The ring broke at some point over the winter. I assume ice broke it. The ice was at least a foot thick. I didn't discover that it was broken until I pulled the cover back to investigate the water loss. The pool needs a liner anyway, but if I can get another season out of it, that would be nice.
 
  #5  
Old 03-24-10, 05:59 PM
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There is no liner showing in your picture, is there a liner in the pool now?
 
  #6  
Old 03-24-10, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by todrut
There is no liner showing in your picture, is there a liner in the pool now?
I'm seeing what I believe to be a bleached white liner with the original liner color exposed under the broken ring. The jagged edge of the access hole that was made through the liner is visible also.
 
  #7  
Old 03-25-10, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mickblock View Post
I'm seeing what I believe to be a bleached white liner with the original liner color exposed under the broken ring. The jagged edge of the access hole that was made through the liner is visible also.
Exactly! Thanks for clarifying. The liner is pretty beat cosmetically, but hadn't leaked until now.
 
  #8  
Old 03-25-10, 08:24 AM
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Missing this section of liner must be patched if possible before replacing ring.
 
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Old 03-25-10, 06:01 PM
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I think tudrot has a point, It would be a good idea to check the liner under the collar for cracks before replacing the ring. If you see any, then use some silicone sealer under the new collar before submersing it into position.
 
  #10  
Old 03-25-10, 08:07 PM
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Well, the pool guy came by today - the guy that winterized it. Turns out that water had indeed seeped into that return. We pressurized the line and there was no seal there. He had installed the "cork" crooked and it wasn't sealed. Line is probably cracked somewhere between the pump and pool. Need to hack through the concrete to fix it.
 
  #11  
Old 03-26-10, 12:48 PM
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I don't know your pool so it is hard to say, BUT, sometimes it is easier just to run a new line rather then try to dig the old one up and find the leak. Something to consider...
 
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Old 03-26-10, 05:03 PM
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PLEASE tell us that he is not charging you to fix this damage.


Even just he collar should not have been damaged by the expanding ice as winterizing a pool involves preventative measures against this. The broken collar will be a source of a leak, so how is he sure his pressure test accurately indicates the need to dig up your line??

Glycol antifreeze should have been added to the lines after they were evacuated anyway. Unreal.
 
  #13  
Old 03-26-10, 06:27 PM
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I guess he really doesn't know for sure. I'm tempted to replace the collar and see what happens. We put about 20 PSI on that line and it blew bubbles past the cork, which probably means that water got into the pipe, but that's no guarantee that it's broken. I need to seal it better, pressurize it, and see if it holds.
 
  #14  
Old 03-26-10, 06:32 PM
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If it was pressure tested properly, the broken ring would not make a difference. I pressure test when building a new pool before the liner is ever dropped. If water level was near return and water froze then dropped below return, the ice will fall breaking the return plate.
 
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Old 03-26-10, 06:33 PM
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1.5" threaded plug is best, make sure to use teflon tape.
 
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Old 03-26-10, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by todrut View Post
If it was pressure tested properly, the broken ring would not make a difference. I pressure test when building a new pool before the liner is ever dropped. If water level was near return and water froze then dropped below return, the ice will fall breaking the return plate.
Yeah, I think you're right. The only way for the water to get low enough to freeze and break the ring is to leak that low to begin with.

I'll hack it open and run new line. Trouble is that there's a second return that's T'd in somewhere. Will have to re-do both of them. The concrete patio around the pool is pretty deteriorated anyway, so I don't mind hacking into it.
 
  #17  
Old 03-26-10, 09:16 PM
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Rent a concrete saw from the big chain hardware store, cut from pools edge two cuts 12" wide centered from returns, straight back to end of deck. From here you can dig down to returns and run new plumbing to pump pad.
 
  #18  
Old 03-27-10, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by todrut View Post
Rent a concrete saw from the big chain hardware store, cut from pools edge two cuts 12" wide centered from returns, straight back to end of deck. From here you can dig down to returns and run new plumbing to pump pad.
Yep - that's the plan. I'm going to start digging from the pump pad first, though. I may get lucky and find that it's T'd somewhere that's accessible. That way I'd only have to make the one cut for the "bad" line.

Jim
 
  #19  
Old 04-02-10, 10:57 AM
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Well, now I don't know what to think. I replaced that ring and filled the pool up to just below the skimmer so I have a frame of reference. I pulled the plug out of the return line in question and let the pipes fill. It's been holding the same level for several days now.

It's a mystery, but I'm gonna hook up the pump and filter and see what happens.

Jim
 
  #20  
Old 04-02-10, 04:48 PM
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It could be that the leak is small enough that it will not leak until under pressure.
 
  #21  
Old 04-02-10, 05:23 PM
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turbojimmy I think that you were right from your first post.
You sound like you know what you're doing.

Remember you will lose some water from evaporation, but not enough to cause problems with water frequently dipping below your skimmer and killing the prime on your filter. If that happens then yes you have a leak somewhere else as well. But I really think you fixed it.

Hopefully you'll get to enjoy this thing soon!
 
  #22  
Old 05-17-10, 11:38 AM
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Ok - here's deal.....

The return lines pressure tested okay. But, there was a massive leak on the skimmer line and a small leak on another suction line. Turned out the water froze in the elbow at the bottom of the skimmer. The skimmer needed replaced, as did both suction lines.

A friend of a friend is in the pool business and helped me out by cutting through the concrete and getting me the parts. I just shocked it and got the filter going yesterday. It's starting to clear up nicely, but I still have a lot of work to do in finishing the job. Here's some pics:







I'm shooting for Memorial Day weekend to be done....

Jim
 
  #23  
Old 05-17-10, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for posting back. Todrut was... Todrut wassss....

(right)

Glycol. When you close it this year use glycol after evacuating the lines.
 
  #24  
Old 05-17-10, 07:32 PM
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Great job Jim, a true DIY'ER... Sorry to hear more pipes froze...
 
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Old 05-18-10, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mickblock View Post
Thanks for posting back. Todrut was... Todrut wassss....

(right)

Glycol. When you close it this year use glycol after evacuating the lines.
You know, I put antifreeze in that skimmer line but the 'skimmer saver' didn't seal so the water got back into it. I dunno who to blame for that. I didn't know any better. I knew he blew out that skimmer line. A few days later when I went to put antifreeze in it, I saw it was full of water. Didn't think anything of it. Thought the antifreeze combined with the water would keep it from freezing.

As I mentioned earlier, the pool is old. I think the leak on the other suction line was pre-existing. There were also several cracks in the plumbing that led up to the valve for the suction lines. Technically none of this is my problem (I'm just responsible for maintenance as the renter), but I figured as long as I was hacking through concrete that I'd do it right for the landlord. The leaks were small enough to not cause much of a problem. I did notice, however, that last year when the DE filter was clogged, the pump would lose suction. I thought that was normal, too. Now that everything is new, the pump stays primed even when the filter is completely clogged (a topic for another thread).

Great job Jim, a true DIY'ER... Sorry to hear more pipes froze...
Thanks. It's very satisfying to learn new stuff - and to do it! Unfortunately I learned the how-to-winterize-a-pool lesson the hard way, but now I know for this coming winter!

The pool should be much easier to live with this season. As I said, last season it kept losing prime when the filter got clogged (a daily event) so it was tough to keep it clean. In addition to now having leak-free plumbing, the landlord sprung for a new filter, which I will install later this week. In the meantime I'm vacuuming all the gunk through the old filter so as not to pollute the brand new one. I'm going through a lot of DE, but it's cheap enough....

Jim
 
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